April 22, 2010

Boy Scout Jamboree

When I was seven years old, I tried cub scouts and pretty much failed out.  I never thought much of it over the years until my boys joined cub scouts... and loved it.  The more they loved it, the more involved I got.  The more involved I got, the more they loved it.  So, recently, I found myself completing the training to become an official Assistant Scoutmaster.  Which was almost like waking up one day and finding out you live in a Brady Bunch house with a white picket fence in middle class suburbia.

Here's my house (courtesy of google maps street view):

Anyway, my first Scout event as a newly minted Assistant Scoutmaster was the Northern California Jamboree to celebrate the 100th anniversary of scouting in the US.  They expected about 16,000 people to attend, including scouts, adult leaders, volunteers, and staff.  Instead, they got 20,000.  Although not all 20,000 camped overnight, there were lots of tents.

The middle of the three photos above was our troop's camp site.  The others are just random photos from our little corner of the fairgrounds.  Imagine this fifteen times over, and you're getting close.

Some of the newer boys let their moms pack for the two-night campout.  We expected to hike our gear in about a half mile from the parking lot, but fortunately for this new scout, we were able to drive right up to the tent site.

Sam was also a new scout, on his first outing since bridging up from cub scouts.  He'd been on many outings with the troop, but always as a sibling and never as a scout in his own right.  Here he is, in full regalia.

The Jamboree was actually quite well run.  Although there were 20,000 people on the fairgrounds on Saturday, I never had to wait in line for a bathroom longer than a minute.  Food, on the other hand, was a mixed bag.  They provided tickets for the concessions booths for lunch on Saturday.  We were lucky and waited only 30 minutes for a hamburger and chips.  People who went after us waited more than two hours to get food.  But dinner was done cafeteria style, and it went smoothly.  Here's the line for dinner; it took our group about ten minutes to get from this point to meals in hand.

Although many of the lines for the events seemed long (we abandoned the BMX biking line after 15 minutes because we were only 20% through it), Sam still managed to have a ton of fun.
He climbed.

He tied fishing lures.  (We don't fish.)

He arched.  Archeried.  Shot arrows.

Did a number of other fun things, too.  All in all, it was a good event.  But I could wait a hundred years til the next one.  I prefer camping out in the wilderness rather than among 20,000 other people.


Sarah Laurenson said...

I think my boss was doing this with his son.

Robin B. said...

Totally agree about not camping with 20,000 people. But even so, cool for the boys!

McKoala said...

Camping? Darling, one doesn't do camping. Glad you had fun, though.

pacatrue said...

We did the Oahu jamboree yesterday. Called Makahiki here. No camping, but lots of sun and booths.

PJD said...

Sarah, I think perhaps everyone's boss was doing this with his son. There were so many people there!

Robin, the camping actually was fine because the fairgrounds are enormous. The county fair here apparently is ginormous.

McKoala, camping is a vital part of every Dudley's upbringing. Specifically, if my father had the traditions right, camping in typhoons, camping amid hungry bears, and setting up tents in wind storms well after dark.

Paca, jamboree in Oahu? That sounds lovely!

pacatrue said...

The best way to make it rain is to attempt to set up a tent. Peculiarly, it will only reliably rain during the set up process, and will stop soon after. This is true no matter what time one attempts to put up the tent.